Derby County fans have seen the arrival of Wayne Rooney to training ahead of his January move to the East Midlands club.
The former England international agreed a deal to move to Phillip Cocu’s side back in August but completed his second season with DC United and will therefore be available to make his debut for the Rams in January when the transfer window re-opens.
Rooney, 34, will undoubtedly bring lots of experience to the Championship side, having played the majority of his career with Manchester United, where he won 16 club titles. Whilst on an international level, the Merseyside born striker became England’s leading goal scorer and second most-capped player.
Derby have struggled to far this term, having won just five of their opening 15 league games which has left them sitting down in 15th place.
Off-field problems concerning Richard Keogh have also burdened the club, but many fans will surely be hoping that Rooney’s arrival will give them a boost come the turn of the new year.
A good signing then for Derby and a good move for Rooney, but will the partnership prove to be anything more than a short romance?
Rooney arrives off the back of a stint in Major League Soccer, where he scored 25 goals in 52 appearances but he failed to help guide United to any silverware.
At the age of 34, Rooney’s hunger and drive could be questioned and with Derby currently struggling in what has turned out to be an extremely competitive Championship campaign thus far – would Rooney be up for this type of challenge?
Is it also wrong to question Derby’s current off-field management and morals? Having recently sacked Richard Keogh for a drink driving offence which is set to be appealed by the former defender – Rooney’s arrival seems a little bit contracting.
Rooney was involved in drink-driving trouble himself back in 2017, whilst alcohol problems also surfaced at the start of 2019.
The above is not questioning whether Rooney will make that mistake again, but you must have a little bit of sympathy for Keogh.
Come the end of this season, Rooney could turn out to be a revelation for the Rams and be a massive part in their movement up the table, but it is not always experience that works in the Championship.
Look at Stoke City, who sit bottom, despite having a squad full of Premier League experienced players.
The expectation some players have going into a debut Championship season is a low one and Rooney will have to be ready to move from Major League Soccer to arguably the most competitive league in the world.
Derby fans, get excited, why not?
Let us not forget, Rooney has done it all in his career and that talent does not fade – but the question is, will anyone he comes up against, afford him that luxury.